Now you don’t think I would hand you a cocktail without feeding you, huh? In this Captain Morgan’s “Spice Up the Holidays” Challenge, 9 bloggers and I are to create 3 recipes- appetizer, cocktail, and dessert- all using their Original Spiced or Black Rums. There are some nice prizes to be had, but the best is $1000 donated to a charity of our choice- I chose the Wounded Warrior Project, and let me tell you every time this week a recipe experiment failed, I got right back at it thinking about our wounded men and women. If they can go through physical therapy, multiple surgeries, and pain, I think I can get through a few recipe bloopers and get right back up. Never give up!
I had a super fast chit chat with Spike Mendelsohn (the ninja-star-awesome-chef judge of this whole shindig) the other day and mentioned my retro-gone-fusion-appetizer. I think he liked it. That is if he could understand the concept through my school-girl giggles and lame attempt at sounding cool.
After turning BRK into one giant chemistry lab, we (Himself and I) finally managed to choose that best tasting RUMaki.See that? RUMaki. Clever. I used the classic ketchup, brown sugar mixture and punched it up with Captain Morgan’s Black Rum with a kick of pickled ginger. The sauce reminded me of a Wok Wednesday stir-fry I did back in June. The water chestnuts have always been my favorite Rumaki innards because I really love the crunch. So we have crunchy, smoky, deeply spiced rum flavored morsels with a nice kick of ginger. “This is the Life!”
- 2 cans whole water chestnuts
- 1 pound bacon
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup Captain Morgan's Black Rum
- 2 Tbls. pickled ginger, minced
- 1 Tbls. pickled ginger juice from the jar of picked ginger
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice bacon strips into 3rds.
- Wrap a piece of bacon around each water chestnut and secure with a toothpick.
- Place Rumaki in a 9x13 inch baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked through and beginning to crisp.
- Meanwhile mix ketchup, sugar, rum, ginger, and ginger juice in a large bowl and pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish or a nice oven-proof serving dish.
- Remove cooked Rumaki from the bacon grease and place in dish of rum mixture, swirling each morsel a bit in the sauce to coat.
- Bake for another 30 minutes.
- Serve in baking dish or remove to a serving platter being sure to drizzle any remaining sauce from the dish over the Rumaki.
Now for those Entertaining Tips I promised you…
1. Readers Larry and Ma (my mom), both said to make lists and check off items as they are complete, then nothing is forgotten. But like reader DonnaJ stated, “You are the only one who will know if everything got done for the party or anything is missing. No one else will know if you don’t tell them!” Unless it is something huge like forgetting my pants. Ma went on to say, ” Make a copy and save a to do list on your computer, ready for the next event.” Excellent.
2. My friend Sabrina reminded me of one of my own tips, “My best ‘time management’ tip came from you long ago when we were in MOPS. Have the dishwasher empty before people come so you can just put the dishes in and run it when the party is over.” Here are a few more of my tips I shared with the other MOPS moms-
a. Kitchen counters should be clear and clean.
b. Wash and put away as many pots and pans as possible.
c. Sink should be clear of dirty dishes and filled with hot, soapy water.
d. Kitchen trash can empty and a clean bag stored at the bottom of the can.
e. Clean and decorative dishcloths should be available.
f. Clean or new sponge and damp cloth available along with a bottle of carpet cleaner for just in case!
g. Space cleared in refrigerator for storing leftovers or platters.
h. Keep plastic wrap and storage containers handy for quick clean up.
i. Pre-set your table and have serving platters, bowls and utensils ready to go.
3. Other Reader’s Tips- Biz, “don’t try a new to you recipe on the big day – I’ve done that before and its not gone well! Tried and true wins the day.” JaneC, “A tip that has been working for me is to leave my scrapbook & photo albums out and about, strategically placed within eye shot of the guests. They’ll enjoy peeking through, & it will distract them while you get to finish up your last minute tasks.” On that note, AndreaW shared, ” have lots of appetizers out for guests so that if the meal isn’t served on time, they aren’t starving.” DarlitaS and JenniferM both pointed out, “definitely prep ahead as much as you can…stage tables the night before, always make your cut off time one hour before guests are set to arrive so you can decompress and get ready. Pace yourself the day of and most importantly…enjoy the event!” Good advice. How many of you have greeted your guest with a towel on your head? I’m raising my hand.
Week 1: “Spice Up the Holidays” with Captain Morgan– Introductions. Thank you everyone who shared their best Entertaining Tips.
Week 2, Part 1: Sailor’s Delight Spritzer with Rhum Arrangé– A light and fruity Spritzer with a nice zing of spice.
Week 3: Pumpkin Roll Tiramisu and Party!
Thank you so much to all of you who shared your best tips. They have been a huge help to me as I get ready for this party tomorrow evening. Next week I will share an AAR (after-action report) about the party, plenty of photos, and yes! my scrumptious dessert recipe. Wish me luck! Robin Sue out.
I have been compensated by Captain Morgan’s USA for this series of posts. All opinions, recipes, and photos are mine unless otherwise stated.